Heavy spenders Chelsea have already been busy during the transfer window, and are almost certainly not finished despite spending €186.59m ($A270m) so far.
According to reports, the club are reportedly prepared to sign both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, as well as Wesley Fofana from Leicester.
Chelsea have already signed Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Gabriel Slonina, Carney Chukwuemeka and Marc Cucurella in their squad overhaul.
World-class striker Aubameyang, a former club captain of London rivals Arsenal, would represent the latest in a long line of superstar strikers to have joined Stamford Bridge – although many have struggled to make their mark.
Indeed, Chelsea’s number nine jersey has been worn by so many flops in recent years that coach Thomas Tuchel revealed that no-one will wear the number this season.
“It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed … nobody wants to touch the No 9,” he said.
But it’s not just the number nine jersey that has been a curse at Chelsea. Dating back to the end of the last century, many of Chelsea’s big-name attacking signings have failed to make their mark.
Here are some of the great Blues flops of the modern era.
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Transfer fee: £10m ($17m AUD) from Blackburn in 1999
Playing record: One goal in 28 Premier League games
Chelsea reached deep into their pockets to lure Sutton to Stamford Bridge from relegation stricken Blackburn, for what was then a club record fee.
The striker had signed from the Rovers, where he starred alongside Premier League icon Alan Shearer, after they placed second-last in the 1998-99 season.
But the former England international had a forgettable debut campaign with the Blues, scoring just one goal from his 28 Premier League appearances.
Sutton’s sole contribution on the scoresheet came in a 5-0 thrashing of English giants Manchester United, which was a highlight in an otherwise quiet tenure in London.
His season went from bad to worse when he failed to make Chelsea’s bench for the 2000 FA Cup Final against Aston Villa, which the Blues won 1-0.
Sutton was a one season flop at Chelsea, though, after securing a transfer to Scottish giants Celtic.
Transfer fees: €22.5m ($32m AUD) from Parma in 2003
Playing record: 10 goals from 38 games
Mutu began his Chelsea career in fine form, scoring four goals from his first three appearances for the giants of English football.
Playing in front of new fans for the first time, the Romanian scored the winning goal on his club debut against Leicester City.
But drama ensued as his relationship with Jose Mourinho reportedly reached its boiling point, with Mutu facing backlash from his manager after he claimed to be injured.
Chelsea later fired the striker after he tested positive for cocaine use in 2004, and was suspended for seven months.
Although he was not at the London club anymore, Mutu failed another anti-doping test in January of 2010, as reported by the Guardian.
Mutu, who also wore the number seven jersey at Chelsea, was handed a nine-month ban for that incident.
Transfer fees: €43.9m ($63m AUD) from Milan in 2006
Playing record: Nine goals from 48 Premier League games
Chelsea splashed the cash once again to sign Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko, who became the biggest signing in English football at the time.
Shevchenko, who was 30-year-old when he moved to London from Milan, was handed the number seven jersey under decorated coach Jose Mourinho.
But he failed to live up to the hype, scoring just 14 goals from 51 games during his first season with the famous London club.
Shevchenko was loaned out to AC Milan, the club he’d signed from, during the 2008/09 season after failing to hit his stride at Stamford Bridge.
As reported by The Guardian, manager Carlo Ancelotti believed that Shevchenko was the fourth best striker at the club, just three years after he secured his record transfer.
Shevchenko was left out of Chelsea’s squad for the 2009/10 Champions League, and later returned to Dynamo Kyiv.
Transfer fees: £50m ($85m AUD) from Liverpool in 2011
Playing record: 20 goals in 110 Premier League games for Chelsea
Fernando Torres rose to footballing stardom during a successful stint at Liverpool, where he truly embodied the phrase ‘human highlight reel’.
Torres had already made his name in Spain, after being handed the Atletico Madrid captaincy at just 19 years of age.
The Spaniard left Madrid for Liverpool, although he’d return to the club at the back end of his career, and quickly proved himself to be one of the most exciting players in England.
But drama struck early in 2011, as Torres completed a sensational transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
The Blues again broke the British transfer record for a reported fee of £50 million, as the striker completed a mid-season move sent shockwaves throughout the league.
Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better, though, as Torres made his club debut for Chelsea after Liverpool.
The Blues lost that 1-0 and maybe it was a sign of things to come, as Torres went on to score just 20 goals in 110 Premier League appearances for Chelsea.
But while he failed to fire, these big money moves are all about making an impact when it counts, and Torres did that in the biggest competition that world football has to offer.
While he was far from an overwhelming success at Stamford Bridge, Torres did score a game sealing goal against Barcelona in a Champions League semi-final.
Chelsea went on to win their first ever Champions League crown in the 2011-12 campaign, beating German powerhouse Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties.
Transfer fee: £11m ($18m AUD) from Basel in 2014
Playing record: Two goals from 13 games
Mohamed Salah has cemented his legacy as a Premier League legend after a stellar career with Liverpool, but his career in England wasn’t always so successful.
The ‘Egyptian King’ made just 19 appearances for Chelsea, before he was loaned out to Fiorentina just 13-months after moving to London.
Salah’s two best Premier League games in Blue came in a 6-0 win over rivals Arsenal, where he scored, as well as a promising showing against Stoke.
Salah was later loaned out to Roma, before securing a permanent move to the Italian capital soon after.
But the scintillating winger really took his career to the next Liverpool after he secured a well-known transfer to Liverpool.
Not only has Salah tasted success in both the Champions League and Premier League with the Merseyside club, but he’s widely considered to be one of the best footballers on the planet.
In fact he’s become so popular, the Economist revealed that more than one million Egyptians spoiled their ballots by trying to vote for Salah during the presidential election in 2018.
With many noteworthy individual accolades on the football field to speak of as well, Salah is certainly another gem that Chelsea failed to cherish when they had the chance.
Transfer fees: Around £60m ($103m AUD) from Real Madrid in 2017
Playing record: 24 goals from about 72 games
After impressive spells with European giants Juventus and Real Madrid, Morata was brought into the club as a replacement for Diego Costa.
Costa, who won two Premier League titles and scored 59 goals for Chelsea, returned to Atletico Madrid after being told he was free to look elsewhere.
Morata was another striker who had the weight of the world on his shoulders when he moved to Stamford Bridge, due to the hype surrounding his arrival.
But the Spaniard failed to make an impression on the scoresheet, scoring just 15 goals in his 48 games.
After initially signing for the club on a five year deal, Morata was eventually loaned out to Atletico Madrid on an 18-month deal.
Atletico signed him on a permanent deal later, although he was loaned out to Juventus soon after in September, 2020.
Transfer fees: €60m ($87m AUD) from RB Leipzig in 2020
playing record 23 goals in 89 appearances
Werner was one of the hottest properties on the football transfer market as European giants came looking to sign the star striker after an incredible spell at RB Leipzig.
During his four years at the German club, Werner scored 90 goals and had 40 assists from 156 competitive games.
Liverpool were also believed to be in the hunt for his signature, before he completed an expensive move to Chelsea on a five-year deal.
But the German quickly fell out of favor at Chelsea, having scored just 23 goals in 89 appearances.
With Chelsea reportedly looking to sign some strikers in the ongoing transfer window, the 26-year-old left the club and returned to RB Leipzig.
Transfer fees: £97.5m ($167m AUD) from Inter Milan in 2021
Playing record: 15 goals in all competitions from 44 games
Belgian Romelu Lukaku may have had a fairly expensive price tag to his name last year, but that didn’t stop Chelsea from making another mind-blowing investment in their future.
Once again, the Blues broke their transfer record to sign the striker from Italian giants Inter Milan.
With their Champions League glory still fresh in the minds of football fans, Chelsea managed to lure the powerful striker back to Stamford Bridge on an incredible transfer.
Despite their European success, Chelsea had come fourth in the Premier League the year before, but this signing was widely considered to be a difference maker.
Many believed that Lukaku could fire for the Blues after a previous stint at the club earlier in his career, before more well-known and successful stints with the likes of Everton and Manchester United.
But it was a disastrous return to the Premier League for Lukaku, who scored just eight goals before completing a loan move back to Inter Milan – and leaving the number nine jersey vacant.